Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ruth Reichl's Thai-like Noodles

I'm currently reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl.  I found it in my parents' basement when they moved out of my childhood home and I loved Comfort Me With Apples - and this book hasn't let me down! I've got to buy Tender at the Bone. Garlic and Sapphires is really entertaining - it chronicles the time she spent as the restaurant critic for the New York Times and the disguises she wears while visiting restaurants.  It also includes recipes from meals she eats or makes throughout the book.

One of those recipes is for Thai-like Noodles.  I had a box of thin rice noodles in my cupboard for a while (I got them on sale and with a coupon), so when I read this recipe I thought it'd be the perfect way to use them.

Another money saving tip - when I only need 1/2 lb of ground pork (or other meat) I ask the butcher at my grocery store to give me a smaller portion than what's out on the shelves.  That way I never end up with frozen meat that I might use who-knows-when.  All you have to do is ask!

Fish sauce, Sriracha and unseasoned rice vinegar are stables in my house.  It's amazing how many Asian recipes you can make with the same simple ingredients.  I happened to have run out of the peanuts I used for the Asian Slaw, so I omitted this one ingredient.

These noodles were pretty easy and turned out tasty!  I recommend using a bigger pan than I did, as a lot of the ingredients hopped overboard while stirring.  It definitely is an easy last minute dinner any night of the week!

Thai-like Noodles

An Americanized version of Thai noodles
From Ruth Reichl

1/2 pound very thin rice noodles, preferably Thai rice sticks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground pork
4 scallions, white and tender green parts, sliced into 1/2-inch lengths
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 limes (juice only)
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish
Sriracha Chili sauce

In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water to cover for about 20 minutes (or according to package directions, mine only took 8 minutes) or until soft, then drain and set aside.

Combine the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Set aside.

In a wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, just until they change color, about 1minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the garlic to the wok, and as soon as it starts to color and get fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the pork and half of the scallions.Cook just until the pork loses its redness, 2 to 3 minutes, then add drained noodles and mix quickly. Add the fish sauce mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed all the liquid.

Clear an area of the wok and crack 1 egg into it, breaking the yolk.Tilt the wok to get as thin a sheet of egg as possible and scramble just until set, about 1 minute. Then mix the egg into the noodles.Repeat with the remaining egg. Add the shrimp, remaining scallions and red pepper flakes and mix thoroughly. Add the lime juice and cook,stirring for 1 minute.

Transfer the noodles to a platter and top with a sprinkling of peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, the remaining peanuts and lots of Sriracha.

Notes from RR: Makes about 3 servings, depending on how hungry people are.  I could probably eat this entire amount by myself.  And it's excellent for breakfast the next day. (from yelle: ooo now I can't wait to have it tomorrow morning!)


Karen Liffmann said...

Scrumptious and pretty!

Debbie said...

my eggs didn't cook, my noodles were too wide and it was mushy, but...we ate it all and we liked it. tomorrow night i am making your turkey and artichoke peppers.

dani said...

You definitely need to use VERY thin noodles, like rice vermicelli. You can find these at asian markets, but often in the asian aisle of large grocery chains you can often find them. Make sure you cook the eggs one by one so that you have enough space to cook them - if there isn't enough room in your pan you could cook them in a separate pan and then add them in once they were cooked.